A dead tarpon during a red tide event on Florida’s west coast. Photo: Capt. Tommy Locke
It wasn’t that long ago that such a statement would have been considered overblown and alarmist. But the terrible red tide devastating Tampa Bay is only the latest in a long line of media headlines. In fact, bad water quality, harmful algae blooms, seagrass die-offs, and fish kills have become so common that they often don’t even make the headlines. Conversations among anglers and guides are no longer about where the fish are biting as much as where to go to find semi-clean water and no algae blooms. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day in the worst way.
Red tides, along with the other water quality problems, are becoming more frequent, wider spread, lasting longer, and are more intense. We know the causes – too many nutrients flowing into coastal waters from human activities, including wastewater, stormwater runoff, fertilizers, and industrial runoff – but so far we haven’t had the urgency and investment needed to fix the problems.
It’s telling that we can still share these posts covering several years as nothing has changed! Today we will begin sharing a series of posts on the problem, wrapping up with BTT’s recommended solutions.
Click Here to read an article by BTT’s Dr. Aaron Adams published in the Orlando Sentinel in 2018.